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Anglers in Jennings raise funds for autism awareness

Posted: 8:48 AM, Sep 09, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-10 16:24:32-04

The first annual “Anglers for Autism” fishing tournament was held near Jennings on the Mermentau River on Saturday.

The event was put on by the Bayou Bass Anglers to raise funds for children with autism.

58 boats entered the fishing tournament.

“They’re gonna pay $80 dollars per boat. They’re gonna go out and catch their five fish limit. It’s gonna be a ten inch minimum. They’re gonna come in, and we’re gonna weigh them on the scale. The first, second, and third weights will determine who wins,” said the event’s director, Welsh Police Chief Marcus Crochet.

Bayou Bass Anglers President, Joshua Viator, approached Crochet wanting to raise awareness for children with autism.

“My son is autistic, and I’ve seen the progress he’s made through the therapy center we’re helping out. And, it just makes you feel good to help other people who can’t afford the help,”said Viator.

The proceeds went toward providing children with autism scholarships to go to West Behavioral Center in Jennings, where the children will be provided with Applied Behavior Analysis services.

“It makes a huge difference! My son started out he wasn’t talking, he didn’t talk very well. He’s seven years old right now, he’s been going since he was two, and he’s improved dramatically. He’s talking now,” said Viator.

In addition to the nearly $5,000 dollars raised by the fishing tournament, they also raised money by selling food and drinks and holding a live auction.

Crochet announced that the live auction put their fundraising amount over $20,000, which is more than twice the amount they were hoping to raise.